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Fleet Strategies to Improve OTD for Upfit Units

With the increasing demand and growth of the commercial truck and van segments – particularly among utilities and service industries – the percentage of upfitted vehicles is growing. Upfitters are feeling the pressure of increased demand. In recent years, the huge influxes of vehicles needing upfitting have left some upfitters, at times, overwhelmed. READ MORE

Six Technology Trends that will Change the Trajectory of Fleet Management

The best way to answer the question of what is the future of fleet is to look outside the fleet industry.Here are six technology trends happening outside of fleet that will have a major impact on the future direction of our industry. READ MORE

The Invisible Cost of Low Driver Morale

There is a direct correlation between high driver morale and high driver productivity. The converse is also true. The hidden cost of low driver morale has a direct bearing on a company’s bottom line. While low morale is an HR/management issue, and even though fleet managers do not control driver salaries, there are actions that fleets can take to help increase driver morale. READ MORE

Expansion of Auto Manufacturing in Mexico Will Create Rail Constraints Impacting Fleet OTD

One of the perennial reasons given for order-to-delivery (OTD) delays is rail constraints. This has been an ongoing issue in the U.S., but, now, with the dramatic expansion of automotive production south of the border, rail constraints in Mexico will begin to play a greater role in fleet OTD discussions. READ MORE

Mobility Management to be Catalyst for Fleet and Corporate Travel Convergence

Some believe that fleet managers will evolve into “mobility managers” in the future. Instead of managing a fleet of vehicles to meet employees’ mobility needs, they will move beyond asset management to manage a broader array of mobility services. These proponents argue that mobility management will create the business case to realign fleet and travel management into a single corporate function. READ MORE

Safety Programs with Monetary Incentives May Encourage Under-Reporting of Incidents

Do fleet safety incentives “dis-incentivize” the reporting of safety incidents, especially if employees are monetarily rewarded for achieving a low rate of incidents? Under the umbrella of these monetary-based safety incentive programs is not just cash or bonuses, but also award merchandise, award trips, paid days off, and upgraded vehicles or availability of driver amenity options. The question is whether they are potentially counter-productive to the intent of fleet safety programs? READ MORE

The Growing Penetration of Crossovers into the Commercial Fleet Market

Crossover utility vehicles (CUV), or simply known as crossovers, represent one of the fastest growing segments in the retail auto industry. Likewise, commercial fleet sales are also reflecting an increased acquisition of crossover vehicles. Today, as a percentage, fleet registrations of crossover models are beginning to mirror the market share found on the retail side of the business. READ MORE

Little-Known Story on What Motivated GE’s Entry into the Fleet Market

As we all know, General Electric (GE) has exited the fleet management industry after a three-decade presence, which started in 1984 when GE Credit Corp. purchased Kerr Leasing, a small family-owned leasing company in Englewood, Colo. What is not well known is why GE entered the fleet management industry in the first place. Here is the prologue or “back story” that was the catalyst to GE’s entry into the fleet business. READ MORE

Spec’ing Trucks to Maximize Productivity

Fleet managers need to view work trucks as earning assets. To maximize the productivity of this working asset, it is necessary to optimize specifications, operating procedures, and replacement strategies. The best way to optimize truck productivity is to spec the right vehicle for the fleet application. This may sound like I am stating the obvious, but, as many truck professionals will attest, it is often not the case in the real world. READ MORE

Long-Term Impact of Longer Truck Replacement Cycles

The more expensive the asset, the longer it is kept in service; however, the need for short-term cost savings prompts some fleets to even further extend cycling parameters and defer replacements. But, what are the consequences? READ MORE

Proper Upfitting Specifications will Decrease Workers' Comp Claims

Under OSHA regulations, an employer must provide a workplace (which includes upfitted work vehicles) free from recognized hazards. Across a variety of vocational segments, today’s fleet managers are devoting increased consideration to ensuring upfits will be ergonomically safe for the driver over the service life of the vehicles. Here's what they are doing to reduce Workers' Comp claims. READ MORE

The Seven eLements of Leadership

The main difference between leaders and managers is that leaders have people follow them while managers have people who work for them. A successful fleet manager needs to be both a strong leader and manager to get all stakeholders on board to follow them to a vision of best-in-class fleet management. Here are seven principles to achieve this goal. READ MORE

7 Reasons Why Vehicle Condition Should Not be Part of an Employee's Annual Job Review

If an employee threw trash all over the office floor, scratched the paint off the walls, broke the light bulbs, left holes and dents in the wallboard, and skipped routine maintenance on the copier until it overheated and broke, no manager would tolerate this abuse. Yet, that is exactly what some companies tolerate when drivers abuse their company-provided vehicles. READ MORE

Fleet Policy Is a Crucial Component of a Successful Cost-Control Strategy

The overwhelming majority of drivers want to do what’s right for the company; however, just because your company implements a written fleet policy doesn’t mean drivers are following it. A common problem is the fleet manager communicates policy to the drivers’ managers, but the word doesn’t get down to the individual drivers. How do you increase driver compliance with fleet policy? Here are 10 suggestions. READ MORE

Removing Murphy’s Law from the Upfit Process

The multitude of upfitting options and potential configurations makes it easy to fulfill Murphy’s Law, which states, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” Unfortunately, in many cases, who triggers Murphy’s Law is the fleet manager who does not carefully review the upfit specs, or has not consulted thoroughly with the actual users of the equipment, or attempts to over-engineer the upfit. These are all avoidable mistakes. READ MORE

All Successful Upfits Start with Careful Planning

There are a multitude of specialized fleet applications that require the installation of auxiliary equipment on a truck or in a van. What complicates the planning process is that there are as many ways to upfit a vehicle as there are chassis and body configurations. It is critical that you properly define a truck’s application to ensure the supplier builds the truck to meet its intended use. READ MORE

History and Evolution of Fleet Replacement Vehicle Cycling Parameters

In reviewing the history of fleet management from the 1950s to present, a single question stands out among all others as the most frequently asked: “How long should I keep my vehicles in service?” Today, a growing number of fleets are shifting to more flexible vehicle replacement cycles based on prevailing market conditions, rather than predetermined mileage and/or months in service parameters. Enabling this shift is the growing sophistication of lifecycle optimization modeling. READ MORE

Spec’ing Light- and Medium-Duty Trucks to Maximize Resale Values

How you spec a truck has a direct bearing on its future resale. Here are the some of the dos and don’ts in truck spec’ing that will impact resale values. READ MORE

How to Combat Driver Complacency Caused by Lower Fuel Prices

The prolonged drop in fuel prices shows no signs of abating in the foreseeable future, which is positive since lower prices are making a dent in overall fleet fuel expenditures. However, there is the risk that prolonged lower prices will result in driver complacency to being energy conscious with less focus on fuel-efficient driving. READ MORE

The Little-Known Origin of Total Fleet Management

“Total fleet management” is a generic, shorthand term used to refer to programs offered by FMCs that administer all aspects of a client company’s fleet operations. Have you ever wondered about the origin of this concept? You might be surprised to learn that IBM was one of the initial catalysts leading to the development of today’s total fleet management programs. This might surprise some in the fleet industry, because for the longest time, IBM has been the poster child of driver reimbursement. READ MORE

Two Trend Lines Impacting Tomorrow’s Commercial Fleets

There are a multitude of trends that will impact tomorrow’s fleets. In this blog, I will focus on just two trend lines — technology and governmental mandates. Here's what I foresee. READ MORE

Today's Top Fleet Trends for Nation's Largest Fleets

Each year, we compile a listing of the nation's Top 300 commercial fleets. This gives us an opportunity to get a pulse on the state of the commercial fleet market. Every fleet in the Top 300 commercial fleet listing has its own fleet strategy and challenges; some unique, but most are common to a number of fleets. Here is my “lightning round” summary of the top trends and operational considerations influencing the management of the nation’s largest commercial fleets. READ MORE

New Zealand Fleet Market Conditions for CY-2016

Despite economic headwinds dampening demand for its exports into China, auto sales in New Zealand during calendar-year 2015 hit an all-time record for commercial and retail vehicles. Sales continue to be strong in early 2016. READ MORE

Ergonomics Is the Missing Link in Calculating Total Cost of Ownership

The key word in calculating total cost of ownership (TCO) is total. When spec’ing vehicles, the cost-avoidance benefits of good ergonomics must be monetized to an approximate value and factored into calculating the true total cost of ownership. READ MORE

State of the Australian Commercial Fleet Market in CY-2016

Procurement, as elsewhere in the world, has gained increased influence in fleet purchase decisions in Australia. One byproduct has been the growing trend to sole-source from a single OEM. Although acquisition costs are a key factor, fleet application, fuel economy, CO2 emissions, safety, and overall TCO continue to play important roles in the purchase decision-making process. READ MORE

Author Bio

Mike Antich

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Editor and Associate Publisher

Mike Antich has covered fleet management and remarketing for more than 20 years and was inducted in the Fleet Hall of Fame in 2010.

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